DEAD RISING 4 [Review]: Merry Splatmas!

It has been 10-years since Dead Rising first released on the predecessor Xbox 360, which–if you think about it–is amazing since the bases of the game relies upon killing 1000’s of undead with MacGyver’d weapons and vehicles. Then, you take a selfie with the devastation. Welcome to the fourth installment, which seems more a remake of the first one minus the time limit…

Dead Rising 4 returns photojournalist Frank West back to the series, and finds him back where it all began in the small Colorado town of Willamette. Bringing Frank back was the wisest move Capcom did with this forth edition. The past releases had been missing the humor that made these games so enjoyable and entertaining. Without Frank’s crap jokes and dick quips over human mess ups, this mindless slaughtererfest would be nothing more than just a zombie copy in an era of way-too-many zombie themed entertainment.

The best part of the game is Frank. As you slaughter undead, the video game Bruce Campbell makes odd pop culture references and occasionally sings off key; this all makes DR4‘s constant button-mashing or copious amount of zombies bearable. The other highlight of DR is the enjoyable outfit swapping to absurd weapon-meshing. How often can you say you slaughtered a zombie in a speedo with military boots and a bear head, all while chopping off an undead head with a Weedwhacker modded with a Bowie knife? I think never, and this is what makes Dead Rising a must-play. Even if only for a rental night from your nearest Redbox. This may be exactly what the doctor ordered after your recent binge watch of a Negan-filled Walking Dead.

And a partridge in a pear...
And a partridge in a pear…

Playing through the game you will start to feel like this is a remake of the first edition, or a modded version with better graphics. Placing the game back where it began and just slapping on a Christmas theme does not feel very creative for a whole game. Once you exit the mall and find yourself in the main city, the repetitiveness starts to get taxing with this game. As you go from suburb to similar suburb driving through way too many zombies. This sprawling suburban backdrop becomes a bore a couple hours in, that not even the occasional boss battle rectifies — even if seeing a mech’d out hillbilly Santa is your thing.

The real buzz kill besides the flowing similar backdrop, is the main pull of a game like this: Killing the undead or even the occasional human.. gets boring, really really button mashing boring really fast. You will run around finding blueprints for creative ways to slaughter and then rack up kill counts in the thousands, maybe even taking a picture of this mayhem. Sure, I love wielding a frozen sword that makes you feel like an Iceman and Deathstroke love child, or a vacuum-sucking bomb that makes catching zombies like a Ghostbuster set in TWD. Also, when you do encounter live humans wielding all forms of arsenals, Frank is not a bullet-proof monk nor vary good at dodging. So after a couple deaths you learn to avoid when ever you can; otherwise, the games mechanics get pushed to their limit.

At least the comic cinematics are cool.
At least the comic cinematics are cool.

Besides killing undead you will operate as an investigative reporter solving cases by using your fancy camera with three different modes to scour for clues. There’s the normal lens, the night vision for the dark places and the Spectrum analyzer that helps with hacking doors or computers. Unfortunately though, Batman you are not and even this becomes as boring as the games combat.

Four games in and Dead Rising 4 comes in Undead on Arrival. Besides renting at your local Redbox for a night of zombie slaughter, I wouldn’t waste much time on it, especially in a season of such amazing games being released. Save your money on this practical Christmas remake and spend it on of the heavy-hitters like Dishonored 2, Battlefield 1 or my favorite PS4 exclusive, The Last Guardian (yeah–why wasn’t I assigned this for review? #SMH). The Traveling Nerd has spoken.

2.5 (out of 5) Zombie Heads Agree.
2.5 (out of 5) Zombie Heads Agree.

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